Sunday, July 01, 2007

Life Imitates Art

More comprehensive news junkies may have spotted the story doing the rounds in America about the guy who wakes up with a blinding headache in his Florida home, gets his wife to take him to the hospital... where they find he has been shot in the head!

Mayhem ensures which results in his wife being charged with attempted murder after she admits to 'shooting him by accident' with an illegal firearm kept under her pillow. She then forgets about this, cleans up the mess, hides the gun and plays nurse to her injured hubby. You just know that isn't going to play well in court.

However, what struck me when I read this story, most comprehensively on the BBC News site, was how much it resembled an episode of CSI New York then again, you have to figure that shooting someone in the head normally concludes the crime and you are dealing with a murder rather than a headache, so it is unlikely she was trying to emulate her favourite TV programme. Indeed had she watched a single episode she would have been much more thorough in disposing of forensic evidence!

Actually, CSI and other such programmes, with their near instant results, swift DNA analysis and computer reconstructions, are actually impacting on jury trials. A story from Texas as long ago as 2004 revealed how jurors were expecting so much more from the prosecution because of what they had seen on TV.

Normally the CSIs and especially the Law & Order franchise will borrow heavily from real life crimes to give their plots a freshness that keep the ratings high, but this is a blinding example of life imitating art, albeit unwittingly.

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